Thursday, January 12, 2012

MEGAN IS MISSING: THE REAL LIFE HORROR OF INTERNET INTERACTIONS

THIS CONTAINS MILD SPOILERS.

There are few moments when a horror film possesses the ability to completely and utterly shake me to the core.  These films don't necessarily have to be of the caliber to win an Academy Award, they just need to deliver a message.  Michael Goi's indie, found footage film Megan Is Missing is one of the most unsettling films I've seen in years.  Now, let me elaborate on this premise.  When I say the film is "unsettling" I mean that in the sincerest sense of the word.  Given my young age, I do have frequent interactions with early teenage girls through pageantry, baton twirling, and baby sitting.  The fact of the matter is, today's teenage girls are trying to imitate the lives of college girls and early twenty year olds.  Girls as young as twelve are losing their virginity at birthday parties and drinking with high school students.  They're wearing makeup earlier and experimenting with drugs and alcohol barely after their first period.  The teenage girl of today...is a complete and total idiot with complete disregard for common sense based on the principle that "everyone else is doing it".  Talking to strangers on the internet is no exception. It is for that reason alone that Megan is Missing completely took me aback.

I'm not going to analyze this film on a technical level, because it would be a waste of my time.  The acting isn't great, it's "found footage", and yes, there is a ten minute scene of a man digging a hole. There you go, there's your "technical" review.  What needs to be dissected is the horrifying truth the film holds.  The parents of generation dotcom have lost their ability to parent.  Children have far too much freedom and aren't monitored to the extent that they need to be.  I've seen ten year old girls SEXTING boys in their classes.  I didn't get a cell phone until the summer before high school and the only calls I was able to make were to my parents and the police. Hell, I couldn't text until my junior year of high school.  Parents today don't know how to tell their children "no" and this is why so many of our kids are at risk.  Children are sexualized at a very young age and when you combine that with social networking and smart phones, they're destined for destruction.  This is the unfortunate truth of the way the world works and Megan is Missing helps to showcase that with the epitome of a worst case scenario.



The film follows the story of fourteen year old Megan Stewart and thirteen year old Amy Herman.  The two girls live the typical life of fourteen year olds in new millennium America.  The girls go out to parties they shouldn't be attending, they're popular with the boys at school, and they spend their nights getting their kicks by flirting with strangers from the Internet.  I'll be honest, at that age, I did the exact same thing.  Amy was abused as a child and it definitely set her on the path for self destruction. While many criticize the acting of this film. These girls did a pretty decent job showcasing the false sense of immortality that the modern teenager believes they have.  A little campy at times, but not to the point where it broke me out of the film.  Regardless, Megan and Amy soon meet a boy who calls himself "Josh" on the Internet and Megan makes plans to meet with him.  

While anyone with any common sense would be screaming "you idiot, you never meet people you've met in online chatrooms" you need to remember something...TEENAGERS ARE MORONS.  Megan seems to fulfill her plans to meet "Josh" and as the title says, she goes missing.  Amy becomes ridiculously upset and sets out on a campaign to find her.  Unfortunately for Amy, she finds "Josh" or rather, "Josh" finds her. The aftermath of this discovery is incredibly gruesome and grievously triggering.  


Michael Goi clearly did his homework on this one.  Although there are moments when it becomes a little obvious that the girls aren't actually fourteen, but if you can show me a set of parents who would sign off on their children to participate in this film (without being total stage parents), they'd probably lose their paternal rights.  There were moments in this film that honestly made me turn my head and close my eyes.  This film didn't scare me so much as completely break my heart.  It sickens me to know that the unfortunate truth of this film, is that this actually happens.  Michael Goi isn't some sadistic freak who fantasized this all up, he based his film off of seven different cases involving internet related kidnappings.  The script may not be the strongest ox on the cart, but it doesn't have to be.  The message of this film could be understood if the entire film was on mute. 

We've gotten too comfortable on the internet and have forgotten the dangers that lurk within.  Trolling has made it cool to be anonymous again and this is just presenting a watering hole filled with underage snatch with daddy issues just waiting to be picked off.  That may come off as insensitive, but it's the truth.  A huge issue many are having with the film is the fact Amy's parents allowed her to still use the internet and roam the streets with her camera unsupervised even after Megan's disappearance. I'd kindly like you all to revisit the case of Jessi Slaughter who even after receiving death threats from trolls on 4chan, her parents never once watched any of her asinine videos or took away her online privileges.  Wanna know what got her offline? A COURT ORDER.  Parents today just don't understand. They don't know how to PARENT.  This film is realistic in EVERY sense of the word. Maybe it's because I'm only twenty one years old, but I see this shit every day.  I always fear opening the paper because I'm awaiting the day when one of the girls I've watched grow up is under the missing persons. 



Now, this film isn't without its problems.  It's in no way a perfect film, but the last 22 minutes were so earth shattering, it completely overshadowed any of the film's pitfalls.  The film manages to creep under your skin and shows us the events the news never talks about.  It may seem a bit exploitative at times, but I honestly think that we've gotten to the point where we as a society NEED it to be.  Teenagers think they're invincible and are often times never held accountable for their actions.  They don't understand the risk they are putting themselves in.  The film does such a good job at making me never want to talk to anyone from the internet ever again that it was even endorsed by Marc Klass, founder of the KlaasKids Foundation to prevent crimes on children, and the father of Polly Hannah Klaas who was kidnapped and murdered.  This film isn't meant for everyone, and it's not a film that anyone should "enjoy".  I do, however, fully stand behind the filmmaker and his message for this film.

73 comment(s):

Kaijinu said...

wow, those screenshots and that review; makes me feel stupid that I over looked this film. Nice one, mate!

Philip Castor said...

This is, with out a shadow of a doubt, one of your best reviews ever. And it's not just because the film is amazing, but because you stand behind it. I'm a 38 year old man. I have a 23 year old sister and a 21 year old female cousin. My best friend has a seven year old daughter. The world that I inhabit in now is way more dangerous than it was when I was younger. It truly is a horrifying world but makes so bad is that parents are not discipline their children. when I stayed out late without calling, I was grounded. When I talked back, I lost my phone privileges. I was watched and I was punished. Do parents watch and punish their kids when their being bad? Do parents even watch their kids at all? No they don't and this film proves that case and I stand behind you and your statements. Excellent review my friend!

Bleeding Dead said...

As Phil said this is quite good, a review in which you show a lot of insight. I don't know what the negative comments were about as you mentioned in your video post but I don't see any indication where anything you said was wrong or how it pertains towards your gender? I'm a year younger than you in age and you're unbelievably dead on with teenagers and the internet. And in truth not just teenagers but I've seen full grown thirty some year old adults make the stupidest mistakes.

Also I loved how you mentioned that a film doesn't have to be Academy Award worthy to make its point. I'll definitely be watching this. Thanks.

Rei said...

Amazing review of a film that no doubt will cause people to stop and think. I'm 25 (soon to be 26) and the world has changed so much from when I was younger. I didn't have a phone until I was 16 and I had a curfew that if I broke it, I would lose my phone and internet privilages.
Children today seem to be running the show and their parents are along for the ride.
What's sad is that it takes a film like this to make people wake up and smell the coffee and go and check on their children. What's even sadder is, once this film has left their minds, they revert back to their old ways.

LJRich said...

I normally don't watch this kind of horror. Found footage is mostly the reason, but also the films that are just too close to home really give me a mixed feeling after I see them. Like I've helped violate someone. But, I'm going to watch this one. Mainly because I have a 14 yr old, and I'm an online kinda parent, so are my kids, but I try not to be stupid about it. Thanks for the heads up!

superfreakmorticia said...

I beg to differ. As much as I respect BJ and usually agree with her POV, I'm old enough to know better. I mean, I'm 45 reaching 46. I've seen this happen before. Grown up people saying "oh kids today are just out of control". Even people just a little older than said kids (just like you, BJ) saying "oh, when I was that age it used to be different..." People in the 19th century used to say the same things of their youngsters. It's not the Internet. It's not parents not controlling their children. Kids have always ended up on the missing person list and always will be, for different reasons. I'm sad to see generation after generation making the same mistakes. I haven't seen the film so I won't judge it, but it stinks of exploitation to me. I don't believe it's more real than, let's say, "The exorcist". It's just capitalizing on people inner fears, beliefs or misunderstandings. I apologize for my bad English but I'm from Italy. Take care, BJ. You're my revenge for all those teenage nights I spent staying up to see obscure horror flicks on TV, feeling like a freak because I was the only female I knew so much into movies and gore :)

Tempest Nightingale LeTrope said...

Oh honey, I'm old enough to be your mother and believe me, when I was this age we were quite brain dead too. A friend and I would go hitchhiking or go off with boys we barely knew who had cars. I stopped doing it when we had a very scary experience with a couple of guys who laced the pot we smoked with something much stronger. She still did it. I'm amazed that she made it to her twenties!
If my (now late) father had ever seen this film, he would not have let me leave the house until I was 40!

Planet of Terror said...

Fantastic review. I just finished watching it and I am completely unnerved.

What made this also interesting was the media parts where they are painting a picture of Megan as an all-American girl: beautiful, straight A student and popular at school. It's a picture painted a 1,000 times over when a young adult goes missing. But is everything as it seems? Megan had a dark side to her and it made you wonder how many other kids gone missing stories lacked the whole truth.

Man, those last 22 minutes. Truly disturbing. And I KNEW what was in that barrel but it still freaked me out. Fantastic film. Can't believe I hadn't heard of it before.

Horror Lover said...

I saw this film about 2 months ago and was affected as you were by the content. I am 37 and have 2 young daughters(8 & 4)and this honestly added another level of terror to the fears I have for my girls. I understand where you are coming from with you comments about children having to much freedom and parents not being parents. I know that my style of parenting is not as acceptable to other parents (I am very strict) but the only thing I care about is that my children are safe and happy.

This film just reinforced my personal belief that while my kids may not like some of my choices for them, like only going to sites that I choose, I know that I am making the right descisions to keep them safe.

pws said...

There's an episode of the TV series "Wire in the Blood" that takes a similar real life Internet meet up followed by torture and murder case and uses it as the basis of the episode.

Of course, in that case it was adult women who were the victims.

I've also heard a story of an adult man in Germany who was ... gulp ... cannibalized by another man he met on the Internet. There was also a recent story of fake job postings on the Internet, Craigslist specifically, luring job seeking men to an early grave. (Made me wary of helping an elderly woman I know sell her old timey record player on Craigslist....)

superfreakmorticia said...

Soon after my first comment I watched the film. I regret posting the comment because I should really have watched the film first. Did I change my mind? God, no! I think the film is VERY VERY bad. The "found footage" is obviously fake. A great director would have done a great job with real phone cameras, real web cameras and so on, taking the creative opportunities to give the film an artful, almost experimental look, but this is clearly not the case. During the burial scene I was laughing my head off for the pitiful dialogue, and I was glad he finally buried her, so I couldn't hear her ridiculous lines (and acting) anymore. There wasn't a single moment I felt scared. The rape scene was totally out of synch, as neither the director nor the actress had an idea of what the rape of a virgin would be like (I won't be as graphic as Megan in the blow job re-telling scene and explain you why, but believe me I'm talking from experience here). On the whole, everything was so unbelievable I found it impossible to take it seriously or considering the message. If the film sucks but the message is good does it make it a good film? No, I don't think so. And the message sucks too. It's the more misogynist, more retrograde and demeaning depiction of teenage girls I've seen so far. I wouldn't let a 14year old watch the film because it's telling her "You're a stupid helpless slut" instead of "Be strong, be smarter than the guys who might want to harm you". I'm appalled that BJ is campioning this stuff on the Day Of The Woman. It's like 'Hard candy' never existed. And that's a GOOD film. I apologise for my poor English but I'm from Argento (not that he has done anything I like, lately) and Bava land. Ciao.

michaelgoi said...

Thank you for your review of my movie. While I've certainly heard comments that are negative about the film, I think your review captures the intent of what I was putting across. As an industry professional with 30 years of experience (I currently shoot the shows "Glee" and "American Horror Story"), it was difficult making this film feel like no one professional made it. That was an important part of the aesthetic. The important thing is that I wanted the audience to not forget the movie's message the next time they saw a missing person's report on TV. And I wanted them to look at their own Internet habits with a different view.

Best,
Michael Goi

Anonymous said...

I read up on this and what I read said the director based this on four cases (still pretty gruesome), and Megan is the sexually abused child. I am sixteen and this movie deeply messed with me. The two girls (who were played by teen actors, the parents also had to completely agree and be on set the WHOLE time.) were very close to my age. I never really used chat rooms though, this movie just scared the want out of me even more. It's truly scary because it's so realistic. At some points I thought I heard classmates talking...

Anonymous said...

I just recently watched this film on netflix. Thinking it would good, something new. But it made me sick, I definatly was impacted by it. I dont have ne children, but i have cuzins around that age. And i use to use the internet like that ll the time, chat with people i dont know, i did have enouph sense to not meet up with someone. But, i dont even enjoy the internet like i have. As soon as i watched this film i went onto my facebook account and deleted all the people i never actually met. I know, silly. But these kind of people are out there. They just dont give us the details to what happens to them. I couldnt even finish the film, i shut it off 20 min. before it ended. I know whats gonna happen, im already traumatized from the photos of magen. It does get the message across though.

Omar said...

I really like your review. I guess because I had the exact same reaction as you. No movie has ever bothered me this bad. I watched a week ago and I'm STILL haunted by the images, I started sweating when I saw the screencaps in your review.

I agree it's not about technical quality, or acting quality, or just shock for shock's sake. It's making a very important point and it's great to see you promoting that.

It's not an enjoyable film, it's not entertaining, it's legitimately traumatising, but it's message really needs to be heard by parents. I mean, if Megan's mother gave more of a fuck then they most likely would have had a conversation along the lines of, "So what did you do today Megan?" "Oh i meant this guy online, i'm going to meet him this weekend," "Ok wait a second....".
And even Amy's parents who she seemed to have a better realationship with, really should have been more on top of their daughter. You don't need to ride a kid into the ground, but you need to make sure they're smart and knowledgable enough that they aren't just easy prey for the predatory psychopaths that DO exist.

Anonymous said...

This isnt right wow i have a daughter and thers people out there are like this we all need to porect our famulys and keep them safe as possible i would kill for my famuly if thats what it takes i be dam if something like this would happen to my kids

Kd Kid said...

Just watched this on Netflix and it was DISTURBING. I love your ability to capture the essence of the concept and the message with a perfect review.

I had a choice to turn it off if after only 15 minutes the acting or filming was that bad. But the story and the reality of what could be made me set my critiquing aside...I had to know if those girls got wiser.

No, they did not. And I am sad for them and for the fact that this can and does happen. The predators have a new weapon, and they are precise about using the internet to lure those with vulnerabilities.

I'm going on facebook tonight to recommend it to my 492 'friends', of which I only know 100 personally... Hmmm......

Megan(EEK) said...

I agree with your review 100%. I just watched this movie and I have to admit I have known about it for awhile I just didn't think I could watch it. It hit a little to close to home for me. My name is Megan and her and I share a birthday. But I'm glad I watched it. I had to look away at times, even pause it and distract myself for a moment. Someone earlier had said that what people need in these day's is shock. They need the raw truth throw in their faces. Sure, we would all love to just live in ignorance but ignorance is what's going to have you or someone you care about on that missing persons list...Anywho!!! I thought it was a very informing movie.

Anonymous said...

I recently watched this movie with my mother. It messed with my mind. I thought it was a great message. I'm 17, and have experienced with chat rooms, but lemme tell ya, I will never ever do that again. After seeing a disturbing movie like Megan is Missing, it's opened my eyes.

Anonymous said...

I'm over 21 and I've chatted with people online since I was 8th grade. Of course I've never met them or even webcam just chatting. But I did at one point met up with some random dude on the internet/fb who I haven't been really talking for long & just texting not much webcam/phone calling (I was 23 at that time). Yea, yea call me stupid for agreeing to meet without really knowing the guy for too long. I was cautious already but decided to take my chance anyway believing too easily.. I was honestly a naive young adult who have never went out/gone on a date with any guy before (even if I was 23). Looking back, I'm so fortunate/lucky that the guy is not as insane/crazy as the one here/other similar cases like these even though he broke my heart, made me depressed, etc. That's a lot better than going through what these young teens went through. Though he honestly seemed shady & had problems of his own... (liar, secretive, etc) I've honestly never seen this movie. I just read reviews/etc. But even so, just by reading your review & others, it makes me not want to meet any random person on the internet ever again...

Annabelle said...

I must say this is one of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen. I have a 6 year old son and a one and a half year old daughter. This movie really show the dangers of the internet. Teenagers today seem to think it won't happen to them. This kind of thing happens everyday. I know I can't watch my children all the time but they will know all about the evil in the world. Yes, evil. Anyone that can do those kinds of things to innocent people are without a doubt pure evil and sick in the head. I just cant get over how I see 8year olds with an iphone. When I was that age I had a coloring book, box of crayons and an imagination.

Anonymous said...

I was so disturbed by this movie. While yes the acting wasn't the best. The message was clear and unnerving. I'm 35 years and this movie scared me. This is something that happens daily and this movie should be seen by all teens and pre teens. Graphic yes but it will certainly get the point across. I picked this movie up from the library on a whim knowing nothing about it and I can honestly say this film unnerved me like no other had. MARC KLAAS' message in the special features was a nice touch.

Anonymous said...

this movie scared the everliving shit out of me. I couldn't even watch the end where Amy was taken, I had to look up a synopsis to find out what happened. and yes, though the acting was bad, the message got to me. however, I'm 15 and in my experience, I haven't seen girls that young partying/doing coke/etc; I guess the 13 year olds I've known are more innocent (furthermore most wouldn't meet up with random strangers). Even I've done some stupid really risky stuff but I've always known better than to hang out with strangers on the internet. However that's probably not the case everywhere; some girls aren't as knowledgable about that type of danger. You're spot-on though; this is the most unsettling movies I've ever seen. And I didn't even see all of it.

Anonymous said...

When I was 14 in 2001 I gave my home address out online. Parents banned me from the 'net for two years after I received a letter in the mail amongst other online "shenanigans." I lost all my online friends and most likely the person I was talking with (no streaming webcams back then) was who she said she was and I count myself lucky. But anyway I can relate to how trustworthy young teens can be of other people and their willingness to please and make friends. You can make real friends but you can't trust everyone you meet online or offline. I remember distinctly a desire to make everyone happy, even strangers I had just met. Some people grow up to be knights and others become monsters. I'm 25 now and I see these kids making the same mistakes I did. I try to look out for 'em. I hope the kids who used the internet four years ago are watching out for the new generation of 14 year olds now. Knowledge needs to be passed and this film helps with that. Wish I had written an article or something on the matter when I was younger but I didn't foresee these things. It's so easy to think, especially as a teen, that when you gain knowledge of something at a certain age everyone else your age magically gains that experience and knowledge as well.

So all you upcoming internet gurus and wizards. All you soon to be white knights and white hats. We've seen the darkest ends of the web. Let's keep these scum away from the kids. Educate.

jamaicanqueen23 said...

Being that I am an early 20's young lady, I can connect with this film due to the fact that i have been in a similar situations the chat line not knowing the person being misled by false information, i was just glad it didn't go that far.

Anonymous said...

This movie was mostly disturbing. It gets the point across indeed. I know when i was younger especially in middle school and in high school my parents were on me costantly. I was not able to get a cell phone unless i worked and paid for it. The internet just started comming around when i was in middle school and i was monitored every step of the way. Now that I'm a 29 year old women with a 4 year child of my own,I understand why my parents did what they did. I will say this, my son will not have everything handed to him. If he wants certain things he will have to earn/work for them like i did. As far as all the crazy things that do go in this world he does not leave my sight when we are out. He is young but i tell him all the time of stranger danger. I try to inform the best that i can, (that he can understand) and is disciplined for wrong/bad behavior.

Anonymous said...

I had to watch this movie,I know there are people like "Josh" out there, I know someone who does meet people online and has sex with them,she is now 20 years old. She had the same story Megan had, Her dad died when she was 8 years old and her step dad molested her. She admits to me all the guys she has met and to be honest I am very worried for my friend. This movie really got to me,as you can see why it would.I can't believe someone will go out of her way to meet someone she really can not know.

Pegzateach said...

I am a teacher of computer applications in the Mid West at a middle school. My 8th graders have a large unit on Safety & Ethics (concerning computer use). One of my students completed his final project, a PowerPoint using your blog as a link to an outside source. Being I had never heard of this, I read your post. It is true that students as young as you say do use the Internet as a means to connect to people they don't know. The more that youth are linked to the real results of non-thinking actions, the better off our future is. I commend you for this. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I was deeply disturbed by this movie for many reason. As a teen and in my early 20s I did some incredibly stupid things and only by the grace of God did I survive them. I was invincible or so I thought. Parents, scare the crap out of your kids so that they are cautious and suspect every person they meet. I would rather my kid kick someone in the balls and pay the medical bills than my kid second guess their gut. Our world will never 'be safe' it is up to each person and each parent and each community to create safety for her/his/their own.

Anonymous said...

I was disturbed also like most people. Even though I agree the acting and dialogue wasnt the most realistic thing ever.I got the message and I understand how stupid teens are this days.Its commom sence but I also blame the parents of both girls.Parents now days need to step it up and go way back just how they were raced.

Errica Hutty said...

I am a 40+ year old mother of two children. I did some stupid things too when I was a teenager and an young adult. As an adult I met people online. Everytime you do that you are taking a chance with your life. As a teenager, we didn't have the internet. The world was just as dangerous then as it is now. The internet has made it so much easier for scum bags to prowl for innocent people on the internet. I have a teenage daughter who I am very protective of because of my past experiences. We have discussions about this all the time. I seen this movie in Netflix and was hesitant about watching it. My daughter watched the movie and later I watched it with her. She couldn't watch the last 30 minutes of it but I did. It was sad. The point was made. Parents do need to monitor their children's internet usage and their friends etc. There are people who are stuck in their heads that have some sick, twisted thoughts. I like this movie and will recommended to all parents.

Grandma to All said...

Wow. I am grandmother-age although I am not a grandmother; and I just watched this film on Netflix and then got online to look up the story on those poor girls. Was hoping to find out the miserable SOB had been drawn & quartered. When I was raising my daughter a counselor of hers once told me that I had warned my child about dangers too thoroughly. About two weeks after she told me that, a story hit the headlines about a child my daughter's age being raped and murdered by a neighbor boy just a few years older! I confronted the counselor and asked "now you going to tell me I warn my daughter too much?" I don't think it is possible to overwarn your children. They need to know that this world isn't made entirely of gumdrops and marshmallows. This world has so many sickos in it these days that we've run out of things to call them! Even the word perverted doesn't quite fit the bill for some of the atrocious things they have done. I always tried to keep track of my child and what she was doing, who her friends were, etc. In return, our home was one of their main hangouts! Her friends thought I was "cool". As for this film, I honestly didn't see the girls as being actors. I thought they were the real kids. It was that believable - and that disturbing! Parents, watch this and keep close to your kids. Warn them about things and never let anyone tell you that's overdoing it!

Junior Leblanc said...

Wow im so in love with this film I stand 100% behind it some mothers and fathers need to stay on there kids this show had me think and im only 23 yes I have a 3 year old girl god bless me with but I stay on her I watch her every move I sometimes think about where parents mess up at what point this movie or show was touchy I felt so painful inside and out people as of today please see to your kids walk a straight line ........

Anonymous said...

You're a dumb fucking cunt. You deserve to be raped like this stupid cunt. Life is a joke, not a dick, quit taking it so hard.

Kyle said...

Its also based off the ashley pond and miranda murder at the end. I just watched this with my fiance on netflix and it and I was curious about what some of the cases were about. its sad enough we gotta spend tax dollars for sickos.

Anonymous said...

Im a 23 yr old police officer.i have a 15 yr old younger sister. i ask myself why there are people like this.I qonder about things like this.My only passion is too keep people safe.I cried during this movie.This should never happen.I would kill this person. No matter what.

Anonymous said...

You probably don't have kids. But it really sends out a message for parents who has little children like myself. You only have one chance and if they are kidnapped, you may never see your kid again. That's scary and I will do anything to protect them and not letting that happen to them.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this movie was an eye opener for sure. It was really hard to watch and i had to click forward on some parts as it turned my stomach and broke my heart (real or not)

With two young boys it scares the heck out of me. I am very watchful of my kids and teach them well, I don't ever have my eyes off of them. I don't know what I'd do if one of them went missing...
My heart goes out to the families of missing and exploited children or even family members. Put your faith in God.

Lisa Trudeau said...

WOW! What a sick world we live in!! I am a fan of true crime stories. Both movies and books. I watched this movie a few days ago and for some reason I cant stop thinking about how "Josh" was never caught!! This Movie is by far the most realistic and sickening movie i have ever watched! I had to fast forward some of the parts, I couldnt help but look into amy's eyes and feel heartbreak for her. Im assuming she is actually loosing her virginity that way! I felt sick when i seen the blood on his hands!! I have to say it scared the awareness right into me!!! I deleted my Plenty of Fish Profile as soon as the movie was over! I couldnt help but think there are more men out there like "Josh" and what if I had been talking to one of them. The biggest thing is we feel comfortable in our homes but when we enter chat rooms and dating sites we are far from safe!!! I was told by a couple of people on Plenty of Fish that I didnt have to post pictures of myself and hightly recommended that if I was interested in someone then send a pic with my message. It didnt occur to me as to why they would go out of there way to comment on my beauty and yet tell me i should hide it, Until...I saw Megan is Missing! You just never know who is on the other side of the internet! God be with us all

tgerlover said...

I have an 11 year old daughter and my best friend has a 10 year old daughter. We found some messages from our daughters to boys and from boys to our daughters that caused us to re-think them having access to the internet. So now they cannot get on the internet and we read every text message they send out, and compare it to our cell phone accounts to make sure none are deleted. I was told to let our daughters watch this movie and when we watched this, we both agreed, we will not let them watch this until they are a little older and right before we allow them access to the internet again. I know these kinds of things happen everyday, we would just like our girls to have a little bit of innocence for a while at least and if we allowed them to watch this movie it will take the innocence they have left away from them.

Brady Schuler said...

I am a 14 year old girl and I just watched this movie. Bad choice, now I'm scarred for life. My parents aren't even aware I was watching this. One time I tried to go on a dating site, but my dad caught me and he told my mom and I got grounded and lost my allowance. Now I know why my parents are so overprotective of me when it comes to the web and boys. Lucky for my parents I'm a lesbian so I'm not really interested in dating sites and chat rooms for now. (To protect my privacy I made up a fake boy name.)

Michael Hill said...

Someone recommended this film to me, so I watched it. Honestly, I tapped out before the ending, but based on the stills I've seen, I'm relieved that I didn't make it to the end.To me, it seemed exploitative, voyeuristic and extremely creepy. As a result on the unease I felt, I decided to check out some reviews and came across this site. Your review definitely shed a new light on the film, gave a new perspective. I suppose the film can be looked at as a sort of PSA against internet predators, but it's thin line.

Though I am a life-long horror and gore fan, these types of films where women (and in this case young Girls) are being tortured and killed has never been my bag. However, I know that there is a huge audience for this and unfortunately, I think that there are many viewers out there that would enjoy this film for that reason.

Anyway, thanks for the perspective and I'll be sure to check back and read more entries on your site. Cheers

someguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
someguy said...

umm this movie made me think a lot. Honestly I found it too creepy and wish I hadn't watched it. I love scary movies/thrillers in general so this was recommended to me by netflix.

I began watching and it held my interest, I watched it on my ipad at the gym and stuff, didn't think it was great but wanted to finish when I got home.

When they showed that photo I was very upset. I am very gullable with those 'found footage' films sometimes. (e.g. the 4th kind) so I looked around the internet to see that the movie was fictional. It was so I continued watching. However the remainder of the movie is too disturbing imo to not be rated NC-17. The acting may not have been stellar throughout the movie but those images are extremely disturbing and should not be viewed by a child- w or w/out an adult.

All of that aside I do appreciate a lot of the artistic elements of the movie. I also think it sends a strong message and makes me want to go on line and entrap predators. Some important artistic themes I enjoyed are how the movie went from found footage, to an over produced tacky news coverage segment to the disturbingly realistic ending. I also appreciated how the actors in the newscast re-enactment of the abduction made statements justifying there role in making a disturbing re enactment by stressing the desire to publisize the incident. The re enactment they did for the news was not very disturbing. However the remainder of the movie was and I would honestly have those questions for the actual actors how they could produce something like that.

A more minor artistic element I noticed was that during the news coverage at one point there was a scrolling memo on the bottom saying a child from crenshaw (assuming this is a bad neighborhood in LA) was abducted from their home while family was watching TV. I think that similar missing persons cases happens in poorer neighborhoods and not enough is done to prevent it and investigate.

A final thing it made me think about. Yes there are people like this in the world who are not only sociopathic in that they have complete disregard for others but actually enjoy and get sexual satisfaction from harming others. My mind jumps to the beginning of the movie where the 4-5 girls go to the party. Also Megan's description of the sexual encounter with the counselor (which I found pretty graphic, but didn't think about how it tied into the theme (or realize) of the movie at the time). Most people are not abductors, how ever many do have this kind of violent victimizing sexual morality. And if they don't act it out physically all the time they do act it out in other ways. People like that should get what's coming to them.

natalie w said...

This film was very disturbing and should be a wake up call to the parents of generation X kids who utilize cell phones and the internet every minute of their lives. They even use cell phones in the classrooms at school and have no disregard for school rules that disallow their usage while in class. This was a major problem when I was substitute teaching. I totally agree with you BJ when you say that teenagers think that they are invincible because I know from my own personal experience, they think they have everything all figured out. They think people like me are old and out of touch when there isn't too much that I haven't seen in my life time. This movie will definitely make me take even more precautions with what my daughter will have access to. Also those 3 women who were found in that house lets people know that the things in this film do happen in real life and really the only preventative measure is to watch your child like a hawk.

Anonymous said...

I watched this 5-19-2013 my best friend showed it me i can relate to Megan i was raped at a young age i was abused my father as well and i act that Megan does im 15years old i party drink smoke and have sex but i never talk to people on the internet i dont even get on Facebook i just kick it with people i know i couldnt finish this movie because it reminded me too much of my past but i am going to finish it even if i cry 100gallons of tears and im goin to let people what happend to her and to stay alert about online chatrooms

SB1989 said...

this movie definatleyy isn't for entertainment purposes.
but seeing as I have two beautiful baby girls that will have to grow up in this world we live in today,
this would be a great movie to have them see when they get to the point of wanting cell phones and internet privelages.
it sure does seem likely that the situations in this film most likely have happened in real life.
I mean c'mon when I was a kid we didn't have cell phones or internet, but things like these still seemed to happen frequently,
and since the internet, sex trafficking and abduction has not only got 100 times more frequent
but has become a common occurance. great film to scare your kids straight if you played along like it was sumthing that happened for real,,
sorry for ranting on.:)
great review by the way..
-x2e-

Anonymous said...

I saw this movie a year ago and it still haunts me as well as freaks me out. The whole thing was a big 'what if?' to all those young stupid years logging into chatrooms. I think its a movie that young teens should be watching as it definitely shows the danger more then anything.

Also your review was spot on.

Anonymous said...

I was so lucky and blessed that nothing like this ever happen to me when I was a teenager. I thought I knew everything and I was not afraid of anything. I hope every teenager sees this movie, maybe it will show them that things like this can and does happen. I sure am glad we didn't have computers when I was growing up, and it sure has made me more aware of internet dating

Anonymous said...

I'm the same age those girls were and this completely opens my eyes. I'm not gonna go on chat sites or accept friend requests from anyone I don't know and I'm sure as hell (pardon my language) not going to go meet someone I don't know. I think all teens should see this. it does have some parts that may be unsuitable for kids but like you said kids as young as 10 are doing stuff twenty year olds are.

Anonymous said...

The reason why girls act this way is because of the media and the way society has pushed women out of their roles of raising a decent child. Do you think feminist and the role of men in society let the women walk over them? No, they knew that if the women today have equal rights as men they would be removed from the household instead of raising a child with morals. They know that this is the perfect way to damage them. No one to teach them respect and class. You can't always blame the parents, YOU ARE A PRODUCT OF YOUR OWN ENVIRONMENT.

Anonymous said...

I watched the movie just before I read this review and I, as a sixteen year old girl, agree completly. I know how the kids of today are and I think it is awful. I have never been to a party or done anything of that nature and earlier this year I found out that my nine year old cousin knows what porn is. That fact is so disturbing to me because I didn't even know until last year and even that is so young. This world makes me want to lock my little sister up only let her watch little kid shows.

Anonymous said...

Mother of two girls...very young age. The mvie is very disturbing but you are right parents need to be disturbed...i am without a doubt. I was physically ill during the last 22 mind but as I thought it was a true story i was waiting to see if they caught the bastard (sad I know). But hubby and I have agreed...we are blocking chat sites as soon as the girls discover internet (like i said very young).

Anonymous said...

I thinks teenagers should be kept under full control by their parents all the time, and their parents contantly have to be curious about their childs doings and they should ask them questions about what they did, or how was the day going, who did you meet etc.

Koroshi McAlpine said...

I'm 20 and cartoonist. And I just watch this movie yesterday on the 7th. I gotta say that this movie was good at the beginning, touching at the middle, and extremely depressing at the ending.

I have have any real life friends and haven't met them in person but this movie have a understandable part. When you find a person that you love and would like to meet him/her in person. Why don't you just THINK before you ACT. Because meeting friends on a social networking site (Facebook, Twitter, other) can be somehow dangerous.

Here's how my story goes but it's not the same as the movie and have nothing to do with online stuff. Last year this November, I asked my mom to take me to a place I wanted to come in and look. It's a local trading card/tabletop RPGs/Gameboard place (and I thought it was a local video game retailer store), and it was little 20 minute away from my house, same distance as my relative's houses. And then, we made to this place I wanted to do. On the phone, they said it was opened at 1pm central but my mom said it was close and they won't open it, and I come in and I saw these people sleeping and awaking and mom thought these people are weird that weird and we suddenly drove away home and I could've almost banned from going any places myself because I'm not ready for it and it was settled when I told her I won't do it again.

And next month, when we and my mother at Books-A-Million and I'm buying one book with my bank card and I told a clerk I like it was the same book I bought last time I go there, I just said the PIN number while pressing them by accident. He asked me can he hold it and playfully runs away and then get it back. And I feel bad when I could've almost get banned from going my own again.

Back to the internet thing.

Remember, be sure you let your parents know what you made a friend and they'll decise whenever he's/she's nice or not. Just obey them. You don't want to risk your whole life meeting strangers online.

lindanne said...

I watched this movie a few months ago & wish I hadn't because the last 20 min. are stuck in my head forever. It made me think of all the teenagers & younger kids who go missing every year - we always assume they are killed & that's it, but now I'm wondering how many of them go thru this kind of hellish torture before they die. I'm a grandmother & yes, things were dangerous even when I was a teenager in the 60's with stupid behavior like hitchhiking, etc., but there's so much more opportunity now for predators to more easily catch their prey. An adult man approaching a young teen in person is at risk of drawing suspicious attention - online, he's almost totally safe. Parents of young teens nowadays seem to be afraid that their kids will hate them if they monitor their activities - ALL teens hate their parents at one time or another - my mom would slap me & send me to my room when I said it, & when my kids said it to me, I said "Good" & sent them to their rooms. Allowing pre-teens & young teens unlimited, unmonitored internet access is just like allowing them to play with a loaded gun - maybe even more dangerous. As this movie showed, all deaths aren't quick & painless.

Anonymous said...

So I just watched this movie last night on Netflix . I'm a 17 year old girl. I thought it was going to be a mystery because I love those kinds of movies and decided to watch it. Anyways, I was in shock it first said it was all based on true events. Then I couldn't believe that these 13 year olds were going to parties like that and that the parents let them just walk out of the house. I practically get interrogated when I just want to go out with friends," where are you going? Who's all going to be there? When will you be done? I'm going to call, you better answer." At the same time, I've been home schooled sense 7th grade so I'm very naive and oblivious of many things, which for me is a good thing, I think. I've never been to parties like the ones shown in the film nor have I ever done drugs, drink alcohol, or slept with a guy. I have talked to random people on omegle but deleted the app in a week when I realized all the people on there were weirdos. I Skyped with a few but they wouldn't show their faces just like the movie. Even on Facebook everyone thinks it's safe.... No it's not.

when I was 14 this guy added me,I couldn't message him unless I added him as a friend so, I did. I askd him if I knew him he said no. he was friends with one of the moms of of a girl I danced with. I askd him how old he was, turns out he was 57. he had pictures of youth camps so I assumed he was a cool guy. Boy was I wrong he started asking me really creepy and personal questions and was extremely immature. My friend made me even more freaked out by telling me " oh well no one would ask you that unless they planned on doing something to you!" Great advice don't ya think.... So I got as much info about him, saved all the messages between us and put it all in a file on my computer and told my friend if anything ever happens to me that's the guy.... I didn't realize when parents told you not to talk to strangers that included the Internet. I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed.... Anyways back to the movie ....it terrified me to think that people in real life actually do things like this. when they show those 2 pictures I was defiantly not expecting that. it gave me chills and nightmares. Another movie that was similar was Amber Alert because the filming was as if they were home movies like the person had really been recording everything. That defiantly made it more realistic and I think that's what scared me so much and it absolutely made me more aware of my surroundings.

Felix Ray said...

>>Remember, be sure you let your parents know what you made a friend and they'll decise whenever he's/she's nice or not. Just obey them. You don't want to risk your whole life meeting strangers online.

Okay, there's a problem with that. Statistically, if you're a child, you're more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone your parents introduced you to than by someone you met on the internet.

This is a classic exploitation film. Independant filmmakers/hucksters have been doing this for almost a century. They break taboos that the studios won't touch, and then they talk about how important it is that we're all alerted to the danger. Ca-ching!

In the past, exploitation filmmakers have covered subjects like venereal disease, white slavery, prostitution. Now we have the sadomasochistic sexual torture of middle schoolers.

This is a horror movie. It'a representation of people's fears, not a representation of the real dangers people face. There are plenty of good reasons for being careful on the internet. A sadistic serial killer is not impossible, of course but stalking and bullying are a lot more likely. I'm something of a true-crime buff, and I only know of one serial killer who used the internet.

Still haven't found any details about the seven cases of child abduction this film is supposed to be based on.

Anonymous said...

I doubt this will make it in here, since the director owns this blog, but everyone should know that the director produced/directed soft core porn in the late 90's. This movie seems like an excuse to exploit teen girls. I don't think showing a 14 year old girl giving a blow job, really has anything to do with trying to make people aware of internet dangers. I think he is selling sex in the worst way.

BJ Colangelo said...

To the most recent Anonymous, the director does not "own" this blog. This blog is run by a 23 year old girl on a blogger account, thank you.

Second of all, many directors direct porn when they're getting their start. Hell, it isn't porn, but Michael Bay directed the "I touch myself" music video before he became the king of explosions.

Third, the girls in this movie were all of legal consenting age, they were just playing younger. I never once thought it was "selling sex."

But the comment about the director "owning" this blog is offensive and insulting. Do your research before you come at someone with preposterous allegations.

Anonymous said...

I just watched this movie last night on netflix. My 12 year old daughter started watching with me,but fell asleep about 25 minutes in, and I'm glad she did. It scared me and though I want her to be cautious, I think this movie may have caused her nightmares. I monitor her on the internet, and watch her like a hawk. I'm so glad this movie was fictional.
I know its based around true stories, but just so glad that footage was fake. All that being said, when I was 11 2 girls aged 11 and 12 went missing in my hometown. Their beaten, raped, bodies were found a few days later. That really scared me bc I was the same age, lived in the same area, and it took years for all the killers to be caught. The main killer is william sapp and he is on death row now, and there is a true crime book that tells the girls story, it was very detailed and told how the girls begged for their lives. It s called hometown killer, I think this movie may be loosely based of this story,along with a few other stories.

Joseph Fuentes said...

My sentiments entirely. As a father of young children, I was raised to be private and protective when it concerns family. In an age when the competition to have the most friends and be popular, children really push the envelope to the most extreme. Privacy? HA! Inside the confines of a well structured family...there's no such thing and it doesn't matter what everyone is doing or how popular something is, protecting our children so that they have the chance to raise their own is paramount. The generation of taking responsibility and safety of ones own family is being bred out by the direct opposite. This film, although not my normal viewing criteria, brought to attention just what the maker intended...REALITY. I for one certainly appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of two girls... My oldest is now 16 and my youngest is 7. My oldest went missing, as the days went by and the detective told me she probably just ran away, to continue my daily activities that she will be home eventually. I could not believe I was hearing what he was saying.
I laid awake for days wondering what was going on with her?? Did she go for a walk and get abducted? Was she being used for human trafficking. I had so many mixed emotions, one minute I was mad, the next upset, the next depressed. I contacted missing children's and created a national report. The local police department would not send out a amber alert as I guess we had no idea what happened. After 5 long days and being contacted by the News station to do a report I received a call from the police, my daughter had been found! I just lost it, I asked if she was ok? The officer said yes, he said she seems very sick though. He met me at the hospital where my daughter was run through many tests to determine hidden drugs, rape, infection... Etc. luckily she was ok except for dehydration and a bad cold.
The young male my daughter was with had told my daughter he was going to take care of her, and instead locked her in his apartment, would not let her eat or bathe. Only water and bathroom, she said he would leave and make someone stand outside a locked door.
Still to this day I think she experienced more, but believe it or not she did NOT meet this person online, but rather through a friend at school that knew this guy from a party.
I still to this day wonder why this happened, but so greatful my baby is home with me and safe. It was amazing but my friends that I thought were my friends all pretty much ignored me, I had no family where I lived and alone fighting the pain of my daughter that had disappeared. Nobody has any idea what it is like or how you will react until you are put in the situation. Still to this day I refuse to allow anyone to tell me how they would have dealt with the situation. I stayed at home did not leave my house except to take my little one to school and when I did, I sprinkled baby powder on my landing inside my front door in case she came home, or someone had her key and entered my home.
My 16 year old daughter asked me to watch this movie with her, she was mortified, and I just sobbed... I told her this is why I was crying so loud and hard at the hospital in the nurses station when you saw me. This is what I was worried about and what they would find after the tests come back, visions similar to this ran through my head.
Now my daughter won't leave the house, she will not stay allnight anywhere except home. I worry about her when she graduates school and becomes an adult on her own.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous, 7/25/13, That is so sad. I hope the man involved was turned in to the authorities and got what he deserved. I also hope your daughter gets any counseling she may need and recovers fully from that tragedy.

To BJ, it is easy to see why you have so many followers. You have a very interesting site and most certainly are a very wise and respectable young lady. I will continue to read your reviews.

Anonymous said...

I just stared reading the review. and i just finished watching the movie and all ready at the first paragraph of the actual review you kinda got it wrong. Megan was the one abused as a child, not Amy, Amy seemed to have a great life with great parents. And Amy didnt partake in flirting and she wasnt in the least bit popular especially with boys (heck they didnt even want her to come to the party because they thought she was so dull). And she only went to that party because Megan invited her and persuaded that guy to let her come, and she didnt have a good time at all. But you might have just gotten mixed up or something. Other than that it was a pretty good review, and i love the message behind the movie as well <:) im a 20 year old and i dont even like talking to people i dont know on the internet.

Anonymous said...

The only problem I had with this review is you stayed Amy was the one who got abused at a young age when I watched the movie it was Megan doing a monologue to amys diary about how here step dad raped her for 2 years. Megan was popular and Amy was unloved and just acknowledged because of her friendship with Megan so not both were popular. But it's all true teenage girls are morons and I have to wonder how some make it through alive.

Anonymous said...

So I know I'm kinda late on the whole commenting on this movie thing. But here goes... I watched this movie with my boyfriend today (2/23/14). I thought it'd be something corny just to relax and watch. As soon as Megan started talking to josh I knew something was wrong, and not because of the title. I was kinda scared... not only because I know something like that could happen to me, especially because I'm only 3yrs older than Megan, but because I thought of my cousin who's 14 and does stupid things like going to parties and drinking. I nearly cried... because while the film was playing all I saw was my cousins face.

This is a very realistic film.. girls get kidnapped all the time for doing stupid stuff.. I'm just scared that one day it'll be my cousin on the news with the title "young girl found dead"

Thanks for letting me rant even though it's a little late.!!

fatejacketx said...

So strange how the real story - the Ward Weaver case - has almost nothing in common with this movie. Only that a man raped, killed, and disposed of two young females who were bff's. And pretty much nothing more. No internet guy. None of that.

Ansata Ixchel said...

Michael,
I'm a filmmaker myself, it's extremely difficult to take this very real insidious content and 'script' it, the storyboarding alone takes you into the characters-in this case the victims. Where as a professional in this field...you are forced to 'feel'...to deeply empathize with the full experience. This is truly the down side to our work.
Those of whom are not 'out here' creating 'these' heavy warnings for society to experience full blast....do not understand the tole it actually takes on all of us involved in its making, the making of a real life horror!
How much more freaking 'Reality' do they need? -to get the very extreme message -that You (not They!) took the time, money, and many deeply personal nightmares that You the Director, the Actors, and your Crew had to endure just to get through the re-creating of the Horrors of society??
When society asks for 'more reality'?? What is it? They need to ask themselves, is it they're truly asking for?
For any Film Director this is no dang walk in the park!
This is about two Children whom actually Lived! Two Children whom You took the hardcore time, energy and Empathy to expose their reality to so many people whom choose to live their lives blindfolded! Because-"well this could never happen to us"!
But still they ask for "more"!!??
Hmmm...I believe all those T.V reality shows have so disturbingly clouded judgment ....in a living world where survival and true empathy for your fellow human should Exist! Where is their judgment based now? On a reality shows for 'Dumbing down' real, true empathy for life??
Time for society to step back and give themselves their Own Reality Check!!
I truly Thank you Michael for this Film! I also thank your Cast and Crew for the tolerance to stand up for The Missing..
And re-create the Horrors that exist right outside our front doors!
I hope you'll continue to shed light within the darkness!!

Ansata Ixchel said...

Michael,
I'm a filmmaker myself, it's extremely difficult to take this very real insidious content and 'script' it, the storyboarding alone takes you into the characters-in this case the victims. Where as a professional in this field...you are forced to 'feel'...to deeply empathize with the full experience. This is truly the down side to our work.
Those of whom are not 'out here' creating 'these' heavy warnings for society to experience full blast....do not understand the tole it actually takes on all of us involved in its making, the making of a real life horror!
How much more freaking 'Reality' do they need? -to get the very extreme message -that You (not They!) took the time, money, and many deeply personal nightmares that You the Director, the Actors, and your Crew had to endure just to get through the re-creating of the Horrors of society??
When society asks for 'more reality'?? What is it? They need to ask themselves, is it they're truly asking for?
For any Film Director this is no dang walk in the park!
This is about two Children whom actually Lived! Two Children whom You took the hardcore time, energy and Empathy to expose their reality to so many people whom choose to live their lives blindfolded! Because-"well this could never happen to us"!
But still they ask for "more"!!??
Hmmm...I believe all those T.V reality shows have so disturbingly clouded judgment ....in a living world where survival and true empathy for your fellow human should Exist! Where is their judgment based now? On a reality shows for 'Dumbing down' real, true empathy for life??
Time for society to step back and give themselves their Own Reality Check!!
I truly Thank you Michael for this Film! I also thank your Cast and Crew for the tolerance to stand up for The Missing..
And re-create the Horrors that exist right outside our front doors!
I hope you'll continue to shed light within the darkness!!

Anonymous said...

Well I just watched 'Megan is missing" I thought id look it u for more information about the movie. Well as I must say... I have already said to my partner, if we have a girl she is to be under strict circumstances. I would rather my daughter be alive, well, healthy n knowing she is fine

gattling2012 said...

Hello from Russia.

I've watched this film right now. Well, yeah. That's definitely the toughest movie I've seen. Even "Irreversible" stands behind it.
I completely agree with that the movie actually shows the reality. Though I don't think that we have to turn back to Victorian era in terms of upbringing, but what's undoubted is that we have to raise the level of our self-defence.
Would there be any concerns about it if Megan or Amy would just shoot this fucker in the head? Well, Russian government, though, has such concerns. The effectivity of the police work is perfectly visible in the movie:"Oh, we do a lot of work, but don't know a single fucking thing". So by the time they find the first evidence the victim would be already dead.
As it's said by the "Combichrist" band vocalist Andy LaPlegua, keep your hard doors opened, but keep your guns cocked.

J-N S said...

I like many others have done a lot of things when we were younger that we would not even try in today's world. I used to ride my petal bike all over the place ie. 198km along a highway (alone), I hitch Hiked, explored. Most of the time I was alone as I was a loner. Now that I am a father of a daughter, son I am more aware of just what may have or could have happened.
I came across this film and have kept it so that I can remind my children just how the world has changed over the years since my teens. The world is not a nice place anymore and is far more dangerous then once was.
I have told my family and children that I do not want my children's names posted on social pages ie: FaceBook as it is a way for pedophiles, perverts to gain information about them. Remember anything you post on sites like these are (PERMANENT) and can be copied and used against you.
This film is a true eye opener and should be shown in schools and at home.

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